Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
This one is made using tiny herringbone tubes with a smattering of Swarovski crystals (of course) for added sparkle.
As for the vase, I've had to unpick the collar because the beautiful, bright fuchsia cylinders edging the collar were dyed (which I knew) and the colour has started rubbing off already. I never, ever used dyed beads in jewellery but thought I could get away with it on something that wasn't going to be subjected to the rigours of being handled or in contact with skin, but even the small amount of handling in weaving them has brought the colour off these beads. It's a shame because they were so bright and perfect against the orange and I deliberated for a long time about whether to leave the collar or unpick it, but deep down I knew I would never be happy and those wretched, sub-standard beads would constantly jump out at me. On the up side, I've changed the pattern slightly and found a suitable bright replacement, so it's back to the drawing board tonight...
So fellow beaders, be very, very careful when using dyed beads!
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
There was a major unpicking session with the collar around the neck - I did my maths late one night and figured that so long as the bead count divided by 6 (number of points), a pattern would work (no pattern plan in mind, just to develop as I went along!). It went wrong. With a fresh brain the next day, the mistake was so obvious and easily solved - a count of 108 for the initial circle would divide by 6 equally and give me the 6 points I needed. I would then have to peyote 54 beads each round. Other than the collar, everything is just tacked in place, hence all the threads dangling!
I've got a couple more rivolis to bezel and then some 8mm Swarovski rounds to bezel before I make a decision as to how much more over-the-top I make it! The main thing about this project is I'M LOVING IT - it's a no-holes-barred expression of beading and every beader should have a go at it. Garish colours, totally unwearable, extravagant and in your face - just what the beading doctor ordered!
The challenge for you is to SUGGEST A NAME FOR THE PIECE so please let me have any ideas.
Friday, 29 May 2009
For years since, I've always started with a ladder stitch method until recently... my latest tube needed to have mirror image flared ends and so I needed to be able to work herringbone from both ends. A ladder stitch start is no good for this as the blocky end doesn't go away, so after a little bit of trial and error, I figured out how to start the tube. Would you believe it, it's that complicated start from years back and, finally, the penny has dropped on how to do without referring back to the book! Doh!!!
The moral of the story is, don't dismiss things straight away, go back (years later!) and have another go at it.
How to do it? - if you want a three stack herringbone tube, string 6 beads and go through no 1 again. Pick up 2 beads and pass through 2 and 3 of the first row. Pick up 2, go through 4 and 5, pick up 2, go through 6 and 1 again. After that, you're on normal herringbone. This way, you can unpick row 1 and work herringbone off that end as well, however, do be careful not to split your thread on the first round, otherwise you can't unpick.
I've made a second necklace for Beadwork and took the opportunity to check that the instructions made sense - they do to me, so hopefully they will to everyone else! Thankfully, my tester will rework the piece over the next few weeks. The only problem is, she's not keen on Fireline thread (much prefering KO or nymo), but as Swarovski crystals are once again involved she's gonna have to grin and bear it! I'm sure she will. Personally, I find Fireline a godsend - it's thin, flexible and ultra tough stuff, especially where crystals are involved, so if you've not given it a go yet you really should bite the bullet and invest in a reel. There are a few drawbacks with it, however - it's pricey, only comes in smoke and clear (although it can be coloured with permanent felt marker pens) and the tail has an anoying habit of knotting around the working thread.
Monday, 25 May 2009
It's been a good week overall, beading and otherwise - there's a piccy of the pendant in the current issue of Bead & Button (page 129, June issue) previewing the next issue and there's a picture of my Diamond Windows bracelet in the current issue of the UK's Bead magazine (page 99, Reader's Gallery) which a French beader has submitted.
On the non-beading front, we've had a good bank holiday - a trip out on the motorbike to Harewood House on Friday and a spot of clothes shopping followed by sailing yesterday. We had another run out on the bike today for coffee and cakes - a quintessential lazy afternoon at a tearoom! And I've still got another day left before it's back to work.
Hope you've all had a good weekend and like me, feel it's finally felt a bit like summer!
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Designing a piece is hard enough, but choosing bead colours is almost as difficult. I usually pick a few pots of beads out in what I think will work, only to weave a handful of the little dears and find out that the colours are arguing amongst themselves and simply refuse to get along. What is it with beads and colour that makes them so tricky at times? All that said, I've just been looking at Beverly Ash Gilbert's wonderful site that simple oozes inspiration for colour and it's really inspired me.
My obsession with triangles and geometric shapes continues and this necklace is a prime example of me not being able to make a colour decision. In the end, I simply decided I couldn't decide so went for one of each. What the heck.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Bead & Button emailed me a proof of my article this week - I can't wait to see it in the magazine. I think it's due out round about August time, so not long to wait.
Here's a taster...
Every time I do an article I find ways to improve my "system". However, everything failed today when the document I had spent 4 hours on decided to semi-corrupt - I say "semi", because it showed jibberish one second (a Word document) and when I opened it up the next time (after a major panic) it was OK. I think hubby breathed a bigger sigh of relief than me, after all, he would have to live with me if the work had been lost!
Saturday, 16 May 2009
These two are sitting pretty on my beading book shelf and and will shortly be joined by a couple more titles when they are eventually released one by Rachel Nelson-Smith and the other by Marcia DeCosta:
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
The new bead - the Xilion cut (reference 5328) - will over the coming months replace the 5301 bicone bead. From what I've read, the Xilion has alternating size facets and more cuts which will give better light reflection and it also seems it will be a littler rounder around the middle than the standard bicone. So far as I understand it, all the bicone shapes are to be replaced with the exception of the 2.5mm.
If you can't bear to be without the traditional bicone, hurry and buy them now as once the transition period has gone (June to September this year) once stocks run out you won't be able to get the current shape any more...apparently.
Friday, 8 May 2009
Now I REALLY need to get myself into gear as I've three months to finish them both. The B&B one is virtually done, my trusted tester having just this week worked my instructions without a hitch, so today I shall be knuckling down and trying to finish that one off. After that, it will be all systems go for the Beadwork article.
I've learnt over the years to finish a piece, write the instructions to near completion and only then submit the work - in the early days, I simply had an idea (no piece or picture was usually required), offered the idea to the magazine I wrote for and then got a reply with a six week deadline for everything! It was always a panic and so now I feel better prepared, but still panic like mad!
Thankfully, my project for the UK's Bead magazine is now with them and so most the hard work has been done.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
I'm back to working on the beaded vase, well, I'm actually having a break from the green beads and working on its embellishments instead. I chose some colours - pinks, reds, purples (I even bought some amethyst rivolis thinking they were going to be the right colours) but having worked a rivoli have more or less decided it's too dull. So it's back to the drawing board and colour selection process!
The bottom picture shows the colour selection before I started on the rivoli and to be brutally honest, the selection is dull, dull and dull! I actually like the finished rivoli, just not against the green of the pot. It needs something zingy and so I think I'll just have to introduce some orange and see where I go from there.
Friday, 1 May 2009
I've just taken a break in between doing the back garden and front garden to open my latest beady order and wow, I'm well chuffed. Not only have I got some lovely amethyst Swaro rivolis, but I thought I'd treat myself to some 4mm fuchsia Swarovski sequins (with a hole through) and I'm glad I did.
However, the best bit of the order is a copy of Bead & Button's Crystal Jewelry 2 magazine - if you like working with Swarovski crystals, go grab a copy quick. It's most impressive!
Personally, I have my own bead-collecting gadget - hubby. Rather oddly, he seems to enjoy scouring the floor on his hands and knees picking up escapee beads, but I wish he wouldn't just dump the pickings on my work mat when I'm not looking - I end up with no end of oddments scattered amongst the beads I'm working with and usually end up picking up an invader!
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Here's one of the layers of RAW and I will eventually let you see how the finished square of RAW has come along. Not very exciting I admit (and the colours are a bit dodgy to photograpy), but to me this is definitely progress!
Monday, 20 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
In my case, the designer in question is that clever beady lady Diane Fitzgerald and some of the flowers I made were from her Beaded Garden book. Having sent her an email explaining the position and attaching a photo of the piece, she sent a lovely reply encouraging me to submit the work, for which I'm most grateful.
The moral of the story is to ask - it's correct, ethical and you'll get to touch base with another beady person! I find most people involved in beading extremely encouraging, generous and helpful and maintaining ethics is core to maintaining these good relationships.
Oooh, nearly forgot, here's the piece in question - One Wet Summer!
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
What did beaders ever do before Swarovski crystal beads were around?
Saturday, 11 April 2009
The sample photos (white beads) show firstly a single row then a double row of the stitch worked in size 11 seeds. It drapes well, but wasn't quite the finish I was looking for so I gave some matte size 11 seeds a whirl (3 rows this time). Better, but still not right and the daggers I had in my stash were limiting the colour schemes.
I then tried using some size 10 cylinders (delicas) and fitted some bicones down the middle - this was more what I was looking for, but I didn't like the way the cylinders were jostling against each other because of their squareness.
Finally, I've tried some size 8 seed beads with a matte finish and this seems to be working. No piccies yet as it's still a work in progress, but hopefully soon...
I love peyote, but right now St Petersburg is top of my favorite list!
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
I should also get a proof copy very soon of the latest design I have in the pipeline with them and can't wait to see it - I think it's scheduled for the August issue, but magazines always work so far in front (the deadline for submission was February for August publication) and it seems a lifetime ago I sent everything in.
Now the hard work really starts - getting the instructions written...still, it's definitely worth it.
And what is the design? - well, you'll just have to wait and see 'cause I'm keeping it under wraps for now!
Monday, 6 April 2009
Question is a) can I squeeze some beads in; b) will hubby realise/find them and tell me they can't go and I suppose c) will I have time to bead?!?
I tried St Petersburg stich the first time a few years ago and whilst I liked it, at the time I didn't see much potential to develop it - until now! For the past week, all I've done is play with variations of the stitch and it's now (well, until another one comes along!) my favourite stitch. I've tried it with 11s, 8s, delica 10s, 2mm bugles and double delicas so far and there's loads more experimentation to come. Photos to follow...
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
This time, I only actually bought the essentials - Fireline, size 15s and some Swarovski. It's not that I wasn't going to buy more, it was just that the queues to the stalls I wanted stuff from were so long, I couldn't face waiting - instead, I shall sit comfortably at home with a cup of coffee, slice of cake and order on line at leisure.
Still, it was nice to go and actually see everything for real, drool over the handmade lampwork stalls and fondle the semi-precious beauties.
Following on from this, after 14 years accumulating beads it is high time for a clear out; a selection of beads I've either tired of, fallen out with or ones that just don't appeal have been put to one side and will, somehow, be shortly sent for rehoming. It's good to clear out, but I have to admit it's even more fun to buy new!
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
Top of my list is Fireline thread. I love KO, but do worry about using it with Swarovski crystals so have to bit the bullet and blow the extra cost, just for peace of mind that comes with Fireline. The other must haves is a re-stock of size 15s - I've gone through these like a dose of salts over the past few months and would love to find some new colours.
After that, everthing I buy will be pure impulse - the best way to shop for beads! Hopefully there will be some new beads or findings to inspire and there will always be a new Swarovski colour I simply must have...
Sunday, 22 March 2009
I suppose I'm biased - I love dimensional work and I love beading with Swarovski, so these two books would be at the top of my Desert Island Books list hands down.
Friday, 20 March 2009
I've a few photos to upload, but for now here are mini versions of my Rose Pendant which should be featuring as a project in Bead & Button later this year. These two are for my mums (mine and my in-law) for Mother's Day, and have been finished in the nick of time. I simply love pink and chocolate together.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
First up is Red Resolution. I avoid(ed) beading with certain colours, red and orange being two of them, so my 2008 New Year's Resolution was to bead with red and orange - this is the result. Some of the rivolis have been inspired by the brilliant Laura McCabe's designs. Now, I love working with orange and red!
This is one of those long winded projects and I guess it took nearly 40 hours to make, but worth every minute! I keep threatening to do another in greens and oranges...
I've yet to finish the piece (Mother's day pressie and work having got in the way), but will post a piccy as soon as it's finished.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
It'll be interesting to see how my beading progresses from the start of this blog and I hope you enjoy sharing everything beady with me. If you want to see more of my beadwork or buy patterns and finished pieces, visit my website at www.beadography.com
Remember: Happiness is bead shaped!